In the light of rising ocean pollution and our seas being under increased strain, one mall has used its infrastructure to raise awareness of the need to protect marine life. In the lead up to World Oceans Day on 8 June, the popular Cornubia Mall in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, has installed a prolific ocean themed art installation on a three-tier staircase. 

Located in the centre’s Town Square area, just outside Nu Metro and Bounce, and below the food court, the staircase’s visual art installation features a stunning array of marine species including turtles, manta rays, dolphins, tropical fish, sharks, octopus, coral, sea anemones and more. More than a design feature, the staircase reminds shoppers of the beauty and diversity of ocean life, some of which is less than 10 km away from the mall. 

Covering more than 70% of the planet, oceans are crucial to life on Earth. They play a role in the weather, clean the air, help feed the world, and provide a living for millions. The sea is home to most of the life on earth, from microscopic algae to the blue whale, the largest animal on the planet. However, the oceans are filled with immeasurable pollution, 80% of which comes from sources on land. Today’s seas absorb as much as a quarter of all man-made carbon emissions, which changes the pH of surface waters and leads to acidification Additional to pollution from chemicals and debris, fossil fuels, offshore drilling, and noise is harming marine life immensely.

Because it may be easy for our role in pollution to go unnoticed, Cornubia Mall aims to remind people of the essential role that that the ocean plays in the health of our planet, and the vibrant abundance of life under the sea, that need our protection.

Visitors to the centre are encouraged to take photos in front of the staircase, and post these to social media, using #CornubiaSeaStaircase to stand in line to win spot prizes. 

The previous art installation on the staircase featured a monochrome pattern, that, when viewed from certain angles, created an optical illusion.

For more information on Cornubia Mall, its trading hours, tenants and activities visit the mall’s website or social media feeds @cornubiamall. 

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